Spain coach Mario Pesquera insisted their EuroBasket campaign had not been a failure despite his side missing out on a bronze medal after losing 98-68 to France in the third/fourth play-off.
Less than 24 hours earlier Spain had lost their semi-final against Germany by just one point and Pesquera's men clearly carried the disappointment of that defeat into the France encounter.
They had beaten France twice preparing for the European Championships, but it was to be third time unlucky.
|“||The players were in good mental condition, but physically they fell apart||„|
"The players were in good mental condition, but physically they fell apart," admitted Pesquera, who looked on the bright side of Spain's European campaign.
They travel home from Belgrade without a medal, after winning silverware in the three previous championships.
However, they have achieved their first objective of qualifying for next year's FIBA World Championship in Japan.
"It can never be a disappointment to finish fourth in the European Championships and win a place for the Worlds," added Pesquera.
"I am sorry that the defeat against France was so heavy, but we suffered for the efforts we made against Croatia and Germany.
"I am proud of all of my players because they gave everything. Now we have a lot of time to prepare for the World Championships."
Spain's captain Carlos Jimenez was disappointed, however, to come home empty handed.
"We were never able to react against a France side that was very serious, and we have lost a great opportunity even though we qualified for the World Championships," said Jimenez.
"When we are brilliant, we are hard to stop, but we have to be more solid."